A new study shows that having a stroke ages a person’s memory and brain function by almost 8 years
A new study from the University of Michigan shows that having a stroke ages a person’s memory and brain function by almost eight years. Stroke, a publication of the American Heart Association, will publish the results in its July issue. The study team comprised members of the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health and the VA Center for Clinical Management Research. The National Institutes of Health funded the study.
We talked with Deborah A. Levine, M.D., MPH, lead author of the study and a University of Michigan Medical School assistant professor, to learn more about the study and her thoughts on stroke prevention.
What was the effect of stroke on brain function?
We found that having a stroke meant that our participants’ score on a 27-item test of memory and thinking speed dropped as much as it would have if they had aged 7.9 years.
By measuring participants’ changes in cognitive test scores over time—from 1998 to 2012—we could see that both blacks and whites did significantly worse on the test after their stroke. Continue reading →
We’ve all seen the ads for computer programs, memory games and apps that promise to help preserve our memory and other cognitive abilities. The problem with many commercial programs and apps is that you have to pay a monthly fee for something you may get tired of or that may not be enjoyable.
The good news is that you don’t have to pay money to keep your brain active. You can find free brain games and puzzles on your smartphone, tablet or computer. There are also free apps and programs that help us eat right and move more, which further contribute to a healthy brain.
Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and scrabble are old favorites that challenge our brain. Here are a few other apps and websites to check out: Continue reading →
Many middle-aged adults are concerned about developing memory loss later in life. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent memory loss, researchers are finding out more and more about how the brain works and how to keep it healthy. Here are five important steps you can take to maintain a healthy brain:
People are good for our brain.
Choose vegetables, fish, eggs, legumes (lentils, beans), nuts, olive oil and fruits. Limit red meat, alcohol and sugar. Avoid processed and packaged food as much as possible. A healthful diet will also reduce the risk for diabetes, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
We can’t stress enough the importance of all types of exercise. If you haven’t exercised for a while, start by walking. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Talk with your doctor before you pursue any formal exercise program. Continue reading →
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